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Public Hearing To Be Held On Campaign Finance Disclosure In Riverside County

Supervisor Kevin Jeffries advocated for the change in April.

Supervisor Kevin Jeffries pushed for the proposal in April. Jeffries represents the First District, which includes Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Lakeland Village, and other local jurisdictions.  Photo/The Office of Supervisor Kevin Jeffries
Supervisor Kevin Jeffries pushed for the proposal in April. Jeffries represents the First District, which includes Lake Elsinore, Wildomar, Lakeland Village, and other local jurisdictions. Photo/The Office of Supervisor Kevin Jeffries

The Board of Supervisors today scheduled an Oct. 22 public hearing on a proposal to amend Riverside County's campaign finance regulations so candidates for county office are required to publicly disclose -- via the Internet -- all contributions of $1,000 or more.

The board, without comment, voted unanimously to move the proposal toward formal adoption, after which it would take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

Supervisor Kevin Jeffries advocated for the change in April, saying the $1,000 threshold, combined with the availability of an easily accessible online database, would ensure the highest degree of transparency during an election while saving the county "time and money."

A county regulation approved by the board in 2011 requires that political contributions of $5,000 or more be posted on the Office of the Registrar of Voters' website during an election cycle. However, a state law that took effect Jan. 1, Assembly Bill 2452, allows local governing bodies to require that campaign contributions of $1,000 or more be posted online in the interest of public scrutiny.

Jeffries proposed an amendment to the county's campaign finance disclosure ordinance to reflect the change in California law.

"This will make it easier for the media and voters to see who's contributing what," the supervisor said earlier this year.

In April, county Registrar of Voters Kari Verjil called electronic filing a "great success," noting that since it went into effect in 2011, staff workloads have decreased because there's less time spent scanning, copying and filing paper documents.

The proposed revision under consideration by the board would only affect candidates for assessor-clerk-recorder, auditor-controller, district attorney, judge, sheriff, supervisor, superintendent of schools and treasurer- tax collector, as well as ballot measures that are countywide in scope.

If the disclosure threshold is changed to $1,000, a candidate or political action committee would thereafter have to electronically post details of a contribution within 10 days.  --City News Service  

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